Monday 23 November 2015

Crackled Christmas Plaques - by Alison

Hello everyone, Alison here from Words and Pictures.  Last time I shared some 3D filigree verdigris baubles with you, and today I'm back with some of the two-dimensional versions.  These are perfect to use as a feature on Christmas cards - and you'd still be able to send them as a flat letter through the post.

I still seem to be a reluctant card-maker so I've used mine on three of the Birch Plywood Plaques, and of course I've been at the crackle again!

I started by gluing book pages to the solid baubles.  Once the glue is dry, I usually press down around the edges and then use an emery board to file away the unwanted paper.  These are both the Plain Bauble - Style 1.

I also glued some book page pieces to my Oval Plaque (and you can find the Rectangle Plaques here, as well as many other shapes and styles)...

... before painting all three plaques with various shades of DecoArt paint.  I don't remember all the colours now, but the Rustic Chalky Finish and Media Fluid Acrylic Prussian Blue Hue are both definitely in there!  I put some of the Americana Chalk Crackle Medium over the top and left it to dry.

The top layer is DecoArt Chalky Finish in Lace, a soft warm white which I think looks great with the warm brown of the Calico Craft Parts.  I've added very light washes of Cobalt Blue Hue and Dioxazine Purple Fluid Acrylics for a bluesy look to echo the colour under the crackles.

And because all that paint had covered up almost all sign of the book pages underneath (though they're still adding a lovely textural roughness) I added some book text stamping to get back some of that background detailing.

I gave the book page baubles a wash of white, and added some gentle inking around the edges for extra dimension.

But I was also keen to have some "naked" Craft Parts - so on each of the book page baubles there's one of the fantastic snowflakes from the Mini Christmas Shapes - Snowflakes 1 set.  These are so intricate and delicate - and you get 16 snowflakes in various styles in one sheet.

I "hung" two of the filigree baubles on my plaques too... the Snowflake Bauble Style 2...

... and the Snowflake Bauble Style 4.  Anyone who saw my November Tim tag over at Words and Pictures will know I was pretty taken with the gilding technique, and I couldn't resist adding some here too.

I love it on the "naked" craft parts... especially on the bauble hanging on this very sweet raggedy little tree, the Christmas Tree Style 1.

And I think it looks great around the edges...

... adding a look of gilded antiquity to the crackled, weathered plaques.

I happened upon these fabulous Alphabet Letters - Copperplate Gothic sheets the last time I was browsing on the Calico Craft Parts website... can't believe I hadn't seen them before.

I pressed out the letters for my chosen words (and I've still got lots left to play with - very impressed with all the extra "e"s they provide - that's so intelligent!)...

... and gave those a touch of gilding too.

It's just a hint, but I love how it catches the light and draws the eye's attention.

I drew on some "thread" to hang the baubles up.

And of course I needed some earthy inking around the edges, toning in with the colour of the Craft Parts themselves.

And I'm quietly pleased with the finished effect.

So there are my three Christmas plaques for you.  I hope you like them.  If you're tempted into a bit of Christmas Craft Parts shopping, you just have to click on any of the links in the text and you'll be taken straight to the relevant bit of the Calico Craft Parts website.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I'll see you again soon.

Alison xx
Words and Pictures


  1. These look gorgeous, Alison! they'd make great alternative Christmas cards for the card-phobic, lol!

  2. These are beautiful Alison and I agree the naked bits, because they are Kraft coloured, work so well on that lovely crackle icy background. Gorgeous work x

  3. You should be quietly pleased Alison, they are beautiful. The crackle background is wonderful and I love the touches of stamping on them. The 'nude' embellishments are really striking against the backgrounds - and what a great idea to use them as alternative Christmas cards, such a clever idea! Anne xx

  4. Fabulous pieces Alison, great work with those baubles. The gilding really makes them pop, it looks stunning together with all that beautiful crackle!

  5. And so you should be pleased with results! These are gorgeous! Nicola x

  6. I love the gilding just here and there. Lovely!

  7. Wow Alison, these are just gorgeous! I love the oval shape, very unique! Beautiful rich colours and tons of crackle texture...all the best Christmassy things!! hugs :)

  8. Gorgeous-ness! Love the rustic simplicity of these plaques. Perfect for gift giving.

  9. As always, the crackle is perfect and the gilding is just gorgeous to top these off!! Beautiful work Alison!!
    xo Jackie

  10. These are just gorgeous, Alison! Love the awesome crackle background and that you left the cutouts natural. Great work!

  11. They are so beautiful, and LOVE the gilding Alison.
    Also your crackle is gorgeous background for the wonderful dark brown crafts parts. I too purchased both the letters and the snowflakes :-) .
    Such a lovely "card" to be used for many years ahead as tree hangers !!!
    Dorthe xo

  12. amazing work alison. i love all that you have done ... the detail is wonderful. fab work. hugs rachel x

  13. They are so beautiful! I love the contrast between the naked parts and the effect of the gilding. Wonderful!

  14. Three absolutely gorgeous plaques Alison. Love all these little Craft parts and other elements added on them, so beautiful...and of course the details that make them pop like the touches of gilding and the backgrounds, simply fabulous!! xx

  15. WOW!!! These are beautiful - love all your special touches!! Thanks so much!

  16. Wow! These are so beautiful Alison! Amazing Christmas plaques and gorgeous crackle contrast to the rich colours of the embellishing.
    Fliss xx

  17. Wow again, wonderful christmas tags , I really love your backgrounds and they look so nice with the embellishing that looks like wood, great golden accents , I really love !!


  18. Beautiful plaques with those snowflakes, trees and baubles! Loving that delicious crackle and all the gilding that remind me of vintage Christmas cards! Love that touch of gilt on the tiny letters! So pretty!

  19. A stunning collection Alison! The naked parts look so good with a touch of gold and look amazing on your backgrounds! Chrisx

  20. I love what you have created here! The book text is just beautiful and the crackle and gold around the edges looks great with the natural colour palette. I wish I liked making cards! I have just been very disciplined and made a grand total of 12 Christmas cards so I'm feeling proud of myself! These would be, as Helen points out, the perfect alternative to cards and I think I would enjoy making something like them much more than card making! xx

  21. Alison, that crackle is seriously divine!!!!
    In love with those creations.

  22. Gorgeous Alison, fabulous colour and texture and love the gilding! Deb xo

  23. Gorgeous creations! Love them and the crackle is amazing.

  24. What a beautiful trio of plaques - love that wonderful deep crackle and the pretty wooden letters and design pieces!

  25. I can't keep up with you Alison - you are here, you are there, you seem to be everywhere. I love your plaques. Now it seems I have to go shopping again!
    sandy xx